The LEGO Group today announced that Ninjago, its original property centered on a rich story inspired by martial arts lore, has been spun into 13 episodes of animated series content. Written by Kevin and Dan Hageman and produced in HD CGI by Wil Film, the series will air in the United States on Cartoon Network starting at the end of 2011. The search for distribution partners in global markets is underway.
Ninjago tells the story of four young Ninja heroes – Kai, Jay, Cole and Zane – who train under the watchful eye of Sensei Wu to master an ancient martial art – Spinjitzu – to save the world from the evil Lord Garmadon and his skeleton army. The series picks up following a time of peace in Ninjago as the four heroes prepare to face a new enemy, Lloyd Garmadon, son of archenemy Lord Garmadon. Lloyd has unleashed a sinister evil with unique powers and his ambition to follow in his father's footsteps puts all of Ninjago in jeopardy.
To launch the story and establish the characters, Cartoon Network aired Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, two 22-minute animated specials that introduced the characters and conflicts of the Ninjago universe in January and in March. The specials were consistently the highest rated program among boys in their time slot, across multiple airings.
"We're thrilled to be working with Wil Film and Kevin and Dan Hageman to add yet another dimension of story and engagement to our newest original property," said Jill Wilfert, vice president licensing & entertainment for LEGO Group. "The Ninjago universe combines the core LEGO value of creativity with teamwork and mastery of skills, which the series artfully leverages to create a new and compelling experience to inspire children's imaginations."
"Given the tremendous ratings we've already achieved with the two 22-minute Ninjago specials that aired on Cartoon Network, it's only fitting to expand our partnership with them to the series," Wilfert continued. "The value of our content matched with their distribution and audience will ensure success for the series."
Ninjago is a multi-faceted property with a story-driven universe that can be experienced across multiple platforms. Traditional LEGO building sets allow children to create and role play in the Ninjago world. Buildable spinners put the Ninjago characters at the center of a new social competitive game. Virtual gaming at http://ninjago.com, in a new content zone of LEGO Universe and through a Nintendo DS game all bring the world to life and unlock information and skills that further engagement with the property.
For more information, visit http://ninjago.com